Tunnels may be Durban’s drug dens, say police

2013-05-21 00:00

IN films, most villains have an underground lair.

The same could be said for Durban after Metro Police uncovered an extensive network of underground tunnels running under the city.

The tunnels are suspected to be hide-outs and manufacturing plants for suspected drug peddlers in the city centre.

Stretching across an area of four square kilometres from the harbour to Glenwood, the tunnels were discovered on Friday as Metro Police chased a group of homeless men in Albert Park who they suspected of dealing in drugs.

“It was known that these people disappeared when they were chased into the harbour. So, the police followed them this time and saw that they ran into a tunnel,” Metro Police spokesperson Eugene Msomi told The Witness.

Police followed them into the extensive tunnels, but had to call off the chase once it became too dark for them to carry on

“The tunnels were big,” said Msomi. “These men were running into the tunnels standing upright.”

He said they would go back into the tunnels to see how many people lived there as they had also found beds.

The tunnels were dry and were part of the infrastructure, and had grown as the city developed.

“We knew about the tunnels, but no one expected there would be people living there,” said Msomi.

Police believe the squatters are also making the drug whoonga.

Durban municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said “all relevant law enforcement agencies have been notified of the tunnels and they will be cleared and properly sealed to prevent any more squatters invading them”.

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